Volunteers spent Monday cleaning debris from Superstorm Sandy at Silver Sands State Park in Milford.
When the massive storm tore through the Milford shoreline, much of the debris washed into the Great Creek Marsh.
"When they drive down Silver Sands Parkway, you couldn't see the debris from the road," said Steve Johnson, who organized the cleanup. "It was hidden. Out of sight, out of mind."
Volunteers removed a fence, wooden beams and handfuls of gas cans from the marsh Monday. For months, all the garbage mingled with the wildlife, and officials were worried it would threaten its existence.
"This area is intended to be a natural area," Johnson said. "So, we really want to get this debris out of here and the dangerous chemicals as well."
One volunteer found handwritten letters that dated back to 1962.
"I was just amazed to see they were still together and were not ripped apart," said Nick Foss, who discovered the letters.
Organizers handed those letters over to City Hall so officials can return them to its owner.
Among the debris were decades of keepsakes and memories from a time before one big storm changed life here on the shore.
"It's not just garbage that's being thrown away," Johnson said. "We can save some mementos of people's lives and reunite them with it."
The group will continue to clean up the area with the goal for it to be spruced up by spring when the birds are expected to return.
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